Marcela Bovio is the lead singer for Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen's latest project Stream of Passion. Recently Sea of Tranquility contributor Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck caught up with the lovely Mexican vocalist to talk about her musical career as well as the new album Embrace the Storm.
Read on for the full interview!
MuzikMan: I want to know about Marcela Bovio the person, the vocalist and musician. How did you get your start in music?
Marcela: When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I attended a musical academy where I took all kinds of lessons like music theory basics, singing and flute; so right from those times I was very interested in music and singing. Later on my teens I took violin lessons, and I'm currently studying classical singing and jazz harmony.
Through the years I've grown interested in many different musical styles; I started off with pop and rock, then metal, then progressive rock, then jazz and world music.
MuzikMan: I understand you entered a contest on Arjen Lucassen's (Aryeon) website. How did all of that transpire? As it turned out you ended up in a band with Arjen called Stream of Passion, did you ever expect something like this to happen?
Marcela: No, not at all. When I sent Arjen my CD back then I didn't have any expectations but to keep spreading my music; and then after he invited me to do the part all my intentions were to do the best I could, to deserve that spot amongst all those great and very experienced singers. And it turns out that he and I had a great time working together, we connected musically and that this whole new project was born. It was a rather interesting turn of events for me!
Stream of Passion
MuzikMan: The new album from the newly formed band Stream of Passion is titled Embrace The Storm. Can you elaborate on the meaning of the title? The name of the band is very intriguing as well. I look at it as the band is taking their own life force, their inner streams of passion and putting it all into the music. Would you say that this is a good assessment?
Marcela: Yes, definitely! The music is very intense, very emotional; we wanted a band name that would reflect this. We also thought it was cool that you could relate it to the way we worked together on the album, sending files back and forth through the Internet.
The album name reflects the mood of the album very well I think; it's mostly dark and gloomy, but there are shades of light and hope here and there. So it's sort of a metaphor: the storm represents change and the difficult times we all go through, and how we try to cope with them and accept them.
MuzikMan: The band must be very excited by the instant respect from listeners, press, and labels. The recent signing of BMG must have come as a complete shock at first? How is that going to work? You are already with Inside Out Music, how can you be signed with two labels at once?
Marcela: We actually have 3 record deals as of this moment! But each label takes care of a different territory. Sony/BMG has Benelux, InsideOut has the rest of Europe and the US/Canada, and there's also IronD taking care of Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
It's very exciting indeed to have all these labels taking care of the album, to have that many people working hard to promote it. Of course we were thrilled when the Sony/BMG deal was signed, because this would allow us to take our music to a much wider audience.
MuzikMan: I gave your album 10/10 stars, it deserves it. It is an incredible album and you all must have extremely happy with it when the recording sessions ended? It must have been fun working with Arjen, he is a brilliant musician with a great creative mind. He also is so humble and grounded, is this the way you perceived him when you did the recording for his album Human Equation album?
Marcela: Well first of all thanks for your comments!
Arjen's a great person to work with; he's so creative, loves to experiment, tries out all these different things and arrangements. He's not afraid to take wild, extreme decisions as to where to take the music. And he's an extremely nice person in top of that; I could definitely perceive that from the first time we met.
I think we were all a bit surprised on how the album turned out, because the songs changed so much from their initial demo conception. As we worked on arrangements and the rest of the band members brought in their influences the music morphed into this amazing and interesting blend of styles. I'm really proud of the end result.
MuzikMan: What lead you to progressive rock? Growing up in Mexico must have exposed you to many different style of music?
Marcela: I think things here are pretty much like in every other part in the world. You have all the commercial stuff played on the radio and the TV, but if you dig deeper you can find all sorts of wonderful music.
Before getting into progressive rock I was more into metal, so progressive metal was the first style I was interested in. Stuff like Dream Theater and Ayreon, which also have a heavy edge. Later on I started getting into Rush, King Crimson, ELP, Pink Floyd; all through friend recommendations I think.
MuzikMan: What CDs are in common rotation in your stereo these days? What are the bands you feel are making the biggest difference right now?
Marcela: Let's see, right now I have The 3rd and the Mortal, Muse, Interpol, John Coltrane, Pat Metheny. I kind of live in a shell to be honest, so I don't know which bands are making a big difference nowadays; lately all the music that has made a big impact on me are really old albums, like stuff from Ella Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk.
MuzikMan: Arjen told me that the album is not going to be released until October now, why the long wait from getting an advance to the actual release date?
Marcela: When Sony/BMG came into the picture InsideOut had already posted the release date for September; but in order for them to prepare properly they had to postpone it for October. It's a shame we all have to wait a bit longer, but I think it'll be worth it!
MuzikMan: Do you think Stream of Passion is a band that will stay together for years to come or is it going to be a one off project then everyone will go their separate ways? It could end up something like Dream Theater, the stay together and in between band albums, they get involved in different projects and their solo work. Do you think this kind of arrangement could work for you?
Stream of Passion
Marcela: Could be. I guess time will tell; but in the meantime we're having an amazing time working together, and we're all really looking forward to the European tour early next year.
MuzikMan: Is there anything you would like to say in closing to the aspiring woman vocalists that have not had the opportunity that you have had?
Marcela: Learn as much as you can, train your voice, knock on every door. Work hard for what you want, because everything's possible! I think I'm living proof of it, hehe.